Port of call on a 2010 South Pacific Cruise from Vancouver to Auckland aboard the Volendam
Oct 12, 2010 – Tuesday – Dravuni Island, Fiji Islands
I am awoken by the anchor chain being released this morning around 7am. This is a built in alarm clock for our arrival at an anchorage since I have a cabin in the bow! I go for a quick breakfast in the Lido, and they we take a tender ashore to Dravuni Island. This island is really idyllic: the broad sandy beach is several kilometres long, there are palm trees along the shore, and the villagers have their houses just set back from the beach under the palm trees. There is a walking trail between the houses and the beach, which is a common setup I remember from other tropical countries I’ve visited.
I swim out about 50 metres wearing my snorkel gear and find a large brain coral that has grown to within a meter of the surface. There are lots of small fish swimming around it, however the water is a bit cloudy, since there were some ocean swells this morning. I take some underwater photos of the coral. The Dravuni villagers offer all sorts of goods and services, including sweet (green) coconut milk, snacks, cold drinks, massage, boat rides around the island, and of course t-shirts, wraps, and other clothing. The villagers put on a cultural display with some singing and dancing in the afternoon. Holland America operates a tent serving ice water and lemonade, hand wipes and fresh towels.
What a wonderful day!
I call home this afternoon as we depart Dravuni, since this is my last opportunity to use reasonably priced shore-based cellular service until we arrive in New Zealand a week from now.
The Volendam cruise ship visited Dravuni Island and nearby Suva in Fiji in mid-October 2010. This 7 minute video highlights a few of the sights and sounds of these two contrasting parts of Fiji – the largest city, and a palm-fringed island with about 200 residents.
HINT: Click on the little four segment icon beside the “HD” in the lower right corner of the video window to view the video in high definition mode.